- Product Review (submitted on October 23, 2016):
I've been in Law Enforcement since the early 90's, and worked my way up from local to county, State, then Federal, and after more than 20+ years on the job, I was forced to retire after suffering a spine injury and burns during an embedded TDY (Temporary DutY assignment) with the USMC in a war zone in the Middle East that prevents me from sitting/standing/walking for long periods of time.
From a young age to my current age, I have always been interested in firearms, and as an armed Law Enforcement Officer, I have tracked my career to areas where I have had exposure to the most variety of firearms- from plainclothes work where I had to carry weapons that were easily concealed, to "SWAT" type special teams carrying larger pistols as backup to our long guns (sub machine guns/shotguns, etc) and firing several hundred rounds daily, and trainer positions training new candidates to the special weapons and tactics teams, aside from short-barrel revolvers used as backup weapons or special scenarios or other special circumstances, 99% of the time, we trained for, and used striker fired semiautomatic pistols. Glock and Sig Sauer pistols dominated what we used (and I ultimately trained with), and frankly, I was not personally happy with the trigger pull on either- and on the Glocks and Sigs I owned personally, I modified the triggers as best I could to adjust them while still maintaining reliability.
When I discovered that Steyr and HK were making striker-fired pistols, I did a little research, and decided to order a compact veriety of each- the Steyr C9-A1, and the HK VP-9. As this is a review of the Steyr, I'll keep my comments to the Steyr!
The Steyr has the BEST trigger of any striker-fired pistol I've EVER fired- factory production or custom-made/modified striker-fired pistol I've ever fired! The takeup is smooth and positive, it's not too long or heavy, the break is crisp, and the reset is short and succinct, allowing for rapid multiple shots with minimal trigger finger movement (this allows for rapid multiple follow-up shots, and/or fast engagements of multiple targets). The trigger itself, is wide, flat, and squared-off. It has a trigger safety like that of the Glock's, but the trigger is (I believe) Aluminum, with a polycarbonate trigger safety.
Aside from the remarkable trigger, which is an advantage for beginners as well as experienced shooters- it's a very accurate pistol, on par or greater than more expensive guns- such as offerings from Kahr, Sig Sauer, Glock, etc.
The takedown and field dressing/cleaning is simple and straightforward- much like a Glock or Sig, all the controls are easy to reach ind intuitive. The finish is durable and similar to the black finish on HK's, Glock's, etc.
The dimensions are similar to that of a Glock 19's, but the capacity is 17+1, which is quite a bit greater than a Glock 19's- that is due to the slightly greater size of the Steyr's grip and magazine.
While the Steyr's grip is slightly larger, it is extremely comfortable and feels like a natural extension of my body, and points well.
As far as it's consealability, I've been carrying it daily, consealed as my LEOSA (Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act) weapon- so yes, I qualified with it- successfully right out of the box- having never shot it before.
Anyhow, I've worn T-shirts, button-down short sleeved shirts, etc in a OWB Kydex and leather "Old Faithful" brand holster without any problems- and considering I have debilitating spine injuries, that says a lot about the Steyr pistol as well as the quality and design of the "Old Faithful" brand holster.
To sum it up, the Steyr C9-A1 pistol is the best striker-fired pistol I have shot to date- followed closely by the HK VP-9. Both pistols are made by extremely well-regarded firearms makers, and considering their low pricepoints compared to Glock and Sig-Sauer, if Steyr can get their advertising, supply chain and manufacturing geared up, and their pistols into the hands of the "right" major police departments, Federal Law Enforcement agencies, and the military, the public will follow; and Glock and Sig have a real contender on their hands!
The Steyr C9-A1 does not have the advantage of being time proven/tested on it's side, but with the age and time-proven history and reputation of Steyr firearms- which are, and have been supplying numerous militaries all around the globe since its founding as Steyr-Mannlicher in 1864 (founded and originally named "Steyr-Daimler-Puch")
This review- as always- is in "IMHO" (In My Humble Opinion)